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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


The Pride of the Yankees
The Pride of the Yankees (1942)


With all escalation of sports in today’s society, I thought that this genre of movies would make for interesting reading. Here are my all time favorite sports films, in no particular order.

Jim Thorpe – All American (1951)
A young, robust Burt Lancaster and a wise Charles Bickford give this film the foundation of acting talent to tell the story of America’s first real sports superstar.

The Winning Team (1952)
Growing up as a St. Louis Cardinal fan, this movie was of specific interest to me. I discovered this movie in my early youth, well before Ronald Reagan entered politics. Doris Day played the “perfect” wife. The story of one of Baseball Hall of Fame's pitchers from the early 1900s, Grover Cleveland.

The Pride of St. Louis (1952)
Since I am on the subject of players of the St. Louis Cardinals, here’s a film about one of their best: Dizzy Dean. That’s a very young Richard Crenna playing Paul Dean, Dizzy’s younger brother. Dizzy was incredibly obnoxious in his youth and became much more humble as he matured. Charming film.

The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Speaking of sports movies with the word “Pride” in the title, this story about Lou Gehrig is a gem. Besides the lanky Gary Cooper’s splendid performance, there’s Teresa Wright. I never knew that she played Laura Roberts in Somewhere In Time and Miss Birdie in John Grisham’s The Rainmaker until recently.

Hoosiers (1986)
“I apologize for nothing.” With those words, a legendary sports movie was born. Gene Hackman’s stirring performance as Coach Norman Dale is the ultimate viewing experience.

Rocky (1976)
“Cut me , Mick.” Graphic words, but effective. Rocky was the pinnacle of choreographed pugilism in its time, only recently surpassed by Cinderella Man. Rocky is Sylvester Stallone’s breakout film and finest acting performance. Talia Shire’s Adrian is also an excellent use of the phrase “less is more.”

Breaking Away (1979)
At the time of its making, Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern were largely unknown actors. Quaid went on to have a formidable career and Stern had his moments in the Home Alone series. Christopher’s offering as an Indiana youth trying to emulate his Italian idols in cycling and trying to make crucial career choices is truly an engaging spectacle.

*Contributed by: "Arlen Crawford" Date: Sat, Sep 10 2005 / 10:17:17 PDT